Gwangbok Branch of Lotte Department Store Obtained One-Year Business License

A rendering of the Lotte Tower which will be built in Busan by the end of 2025. [LOTTE SHOPPING]

The Gwangbok branch of the Lotte department store in Busan will be able to stay open for another year after the extension of its business license, as the company has made progress in meeting its obligations to build a Lotte tower in the city.

The city of Busan announced on Wednesday that it had granted an additional one-year extension to the Gwangbok branch’s operating permit, which was due to expire on Friday. With the extension, the department store will be able to remain open until September 30, 2023.

Lotte Shopping, which operates Lotte department stores, had requested a two-year extension, but the city only agreed to grant one year.

Lotte Shopping operates the Gwangbok branch under temporary permits issued by the Busan city government which have been extended every year since 2009. The permit was extended on the condition that the company construct various recreational facilities, including a tower 67-story Lotte in Busan. However, the city rejected the extension in June due to lack of progress.

The Gwangbok branch had to close on June 1, but was able to reopen the next day as Busan granted a temporary four-month extension. In return, Lotte Corporation and Lotte Shopping promised to build a Lotte Tower in Busan by the end of 2025, a year ahead of the original 2026 target.

According to the city, it extended the permit on Wednesday as construction progressed. Lotte Corporation submitted a building permit for the Lotte Tower this month and is currently installing steel frames.

Lotte Shopping began accepting potential name submissions for the Lotte Tower from the public in August, which the city also sees as the company’s efforts to move forward.

Busan says the Gwangbok branch will continue to receive annual extensions depending on construction progress.

“We have decided to grant a one-year extension to avoid any risk of Lotte delaying construction again,” a Busan city spokesperson said. “We will encourage Lotte to submit approvals for other necessary administrative measures and to keep an eye on how she is carrying out the construction project.”

BY LEE TAE-HEE [[email protected]]